Today was a mild day by Singapore’s standards but it was still bloody hot and sweaty outside of the air-conditioned media centre. The centre is a long and skinny room above the pits with a little canteen at one end and windows (right) that have been blacked out to aid with editing photos and stop the sun (if and when it pops out from behind the clouds) from cooking us, on the other end. With so many road closures around the track, it was a fair hike to get into the track and once I’d settle in, I was off for a track walk which took just over an hour. The track is not very wide in many parts and it will be interesting shooting the cars as they exit the corners and run within millimetres of the concrete. There are some sections with wide run offs like the final corner here. Much of the kerbing is branded with the Singapore name. There’s the Anderson Street bridge which has the arches over it. And some fine buildings butting right up against the track.The sign writers were applying the logos to many of the concrete barriers. This takes less than a minute per logo using a crude core flute stencil and paint applied by spray. Another person paints out bits in the R and the top of the P that weren’t able to be spray painted.The paddock here looks nothing like the European paddocks as the teams don’t bring their lavish motorhomes and hospitality suites. Instead, each team has an identical tent to their neighbour and at night, many of the team members dine outdoors.The white orbs are lights and at night they throw off an extremely soft light and they are used extensively around the track.
Gunther Steinier gathered his pit crew (below) for a team meeting which he does at every race.The grid girls are Singapore Airlines cabin crew and they wore their distinctive uniforms. I caught them doing a rehearsal in the midday heat. The press conferences were scheduled for 6pm local time and the first one featured Lewis Hamilton. He only rolled up at the track 10 minutes prior to the conference and as per usual, came in with his head down making taking a decent pic of him a fair challenge unless you’re right underneath him looking up.
He was wearing shoes and socks that I’d not seen prior.Anyway, the first press conference was quite serious and staid with few, if any, laughs. Lewis was wearing a nice ring though and I can’t remember seeing him with it on previously. The second one featured Daniel Ricciardo so that was naturally much more amusing and on several occasions there was laughter and certainly an abundance of smiling. And for the first time this year, there was an abundance of impressive flowers all along the stage in front of the desk.The drivers also do a series of interviews with different TV crews in the interview pen in the Paddock before or after their press conference. We can see them from the first floor balcony in front of the media centre.By the time Lewis did his, it was getting close to sunset and with one of the illuminated orbs behind him in the distance, there was a nice silhouette shot to be had if you could find the perfect position. I wanted to have his head placed right in the middle of the light however there were about six photographers all vying for that exact spot and as no one moved much we all just had to take the shot we could get as opposed to the perfect shot which only one photographer could get unless Lewis moved. Anyway, I liked the look of the one I had to settle with. Photographing after the sun went down provided a different type of shot then when I’ve shot at the past Grand Prix (except for Bahrain). Daniel Ricciardo was enjoying a sit down with a journalist (I think) outside of the Red Bull hospitality tent.Lance Stroll was relaxed and enjoying a joke with some of his crew.Some of the drivers went for their track walks after dark with Jolyon Palmer acknowledging his fans as he walked down the pit straight with the ferris wheel behind him.With many lights around the track as opposed to one sun, you get multiple highlights on the cars and being Thursday, we can get as close as we choose to them as they are wheeled up to the scrutineering section.During day races it would not be possible to get a shot like the one below as the foreground would be lit by the sun, however at night the scene appears differently to the camera when you dial down the exposure.The teams were also practicing pit stops and for the first time this year, I could see the expelled air from the tyre guns as they tightened the wheel nuts. Day two sees the cars on track with the first section in natural light and the second under lights. Check back for more tomorrow and remember, you can own canvas or photo paper prints of any picture by ordering here – https://www.kymillman.com/product/fine-art-prints/